An additional 3.3 million cars using Takata airbag inflators have been added to an already massive recall list. The tally now stands at approximately 34 million vehicles, making it the largest wave of recalls in U.S. history.
The latest round affects cars made by Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Tesla, and it covers certain vehicles built between 2009 and 2010 and some from 2013.
Per the recall, Takata’s chemical mixture used to rapidly inflate the airbags in the event of a crash is unstable when exposed to certain humid conditions. The result is that the airbags can detonate improperly, possibly even sending metal debris toward the car’s occupants. Twenty deaths and 180 injuries have been reported in connection to the devices.
Takata is one of the largest airbag suppliers to automakers. Since discovery of the flaw in 2013, recalls on 46 million inflators have been issued. While Takata says only vehicles with prolonged exposure to hot and humid conditions are affected, all cars with the faulty inflators are subject to recalls.
Of those cars recalled, more than half have yet to be repaired.
Since the recall began, Takata has filed for bankruptcy, been fined $1 billion, and three executives have been convicted for falsifying data. Michigan-based supplier Key Safety Systems inked a deal to purchase Takata for for $1.6 billion last year. Once production of the replacements for defective inflators are completed, Takata will shutter its airbag division.
In addition to the makes involved in the most recent recall, the NHTSA has a full list of impacted vehicles, including the most recent additions, on their website.
-- by Ben Hsu